At the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival’s 15th year, local chef Clay Conley is cooking up a storm.

Chef and restaurateur Clay Conley is living out his childhood aspiration.

Conley considers himself a latchkey child and as a youthful boy, following faculty, he located himself observing a tv series identified as Great Cooks. Just lately, he found a notebook from his childhood that contains many recipes from these episodes, scribbled onto the web pages.

He smiles, reminiscing about that time of his lifetime. “I assume it truly is often been a little something that I have needed to do,” he demonstrates.

Currently, Conley owns four places to eat in Palm Seaside County.

At his Buccan cafe, he hosted a sold out four-class evening meal for 150 company on Thursday — one of 20 occasions at this year’s Palm Seaside Food items and Wine Pageant.

Conley has been participating in the once-a-year festival for 11 many years, ever considering that he opened Buccan in 2011.

“I’ve done a ton of these festivals and the situations are really big and crowded. This one is a little more personal. So I assume that’s why people like it. And I know that is why the cooks like carrying out it,” he explained.

He suggests the other wonderful factor about the Palm Seaside Food items and Wine Competition, is that the cooks are permitted to show up at other functions.

“This is not the norm in other festivals — [usually] you do your cooking and you’re done. But for this festival, we get to go to all the other occasions and dangle out. Several of the cooks come every yr so we’ve grow to be very good close friends. It really is kind of a amazing location to sort of reconnect just about every yr,” Conley said.

Chef Conley at last year’s Palm Beach front Foodstuff and Wine Pageant.

A person of the dishes he well prepared for the kick-off party at Buccan featured an Italian burrata mousse along with fresh new, neighborhood Florida citrus and arugula from a neighborhood farm.

“The Florida citrus is starting to appear all over, so we have beautiful pink grapefruit from up in the Fort Pierce/Sebastian place and tangerines from the Indian River. All those are segmented and spread out more than the mousse. And then increase some arugula from Kai-Kai farms,” Conley explained.

Kai-Kai Farms is a area farm positioned in Martin County.

“We attempt to showcase things from close to Florida. And now we are just getting into the growing year. So it’s variety of nice when every person else is up north cooking butternut squash and apples. We’re just acquiring into our expanding season, which is cool,” he stated.

Just after high school, Conley attended Florida Condition University for a though — but never completed his degree. He observed his way to Boston exactly where he labored for movie star chef Todd English, who hosted the Television cooking clearly show Food stuff Excursion with Todd English and was a decide on Cooking Below Fireplace, both on PBS.

Then, in 2004, Conley moved to Miami to turn out to be govt chef at the Mandarin Oriental.

More than fifty cooks and fifty eating places are taking part in the Palm Seashore Foods and Wine Festival . It operates until eventually Sunday, December 11th. Situations change from dinners to wine tastings to cooking demonstrations. Though most are bought out, there is some availability. For extra information, click on in this article.